Who doesn’t want to escape into the virtual world every now and then? Sony let the public live this very dream back in 2016 when it released its first-generation VR headset—the PSVR—and with it, ushered in the normalization of a new era of gaming.
Yes, the Oculus Rift came before 2016, making it Sony PSVR’s most prominent competitor at the time. Sony, however, managed to find a niche in the monopolized VR gaming market by pricing the PSVR at $400, which was around half the price of the Oculus Rift, going on to sell over 5 million units of its flagship product at the time.
Now, after six years, Sony is finally releasing its second-generation VR headset, dubbed the PlayStation VR2, and the company plans on taking your virtual reality experience to the next level. Jim Ryan, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s CEO, has said that the developers are making sure that the PS VR2 is “the ultimate entertainment experience with dramatic leaps in performance and technology.”
The PS VR2 will connect to the PS5 with the help of a single cable and is meant for people to indulge in various virtual reality content made specifically for the second-generation virtual reality console, which includes everything from games to movies.
This virtual reality console is made up of two core parts: the headset and the controllers. The headset boasts a 4K OLED display, delivering up to 120 fps with a 2000×2040 resolution for each eye, promising breath-taking virtual reality environments that are perceivable through a field of view of 110 degrees.
The headset also features a state-of-the-art eye-tracking system, using cameras implanted into the headset to detect the motion of your eyes, which allows for detailed emotional responses and intricate expressions shared between every player you may meet in the online virtual world.
The cameras in the headset track your eye movements, your controllers, your body movements, and the direction in which you look to reflect every detail in-game as accurately as possible without the need for an external camera. The headset also shows off a built-in microphone, as well as a stereo headphone jack with 3D audio.
The PS VR2 Sense controllers are crafted with an ergonomic design to help with the immersion of the virtual world that you are in. The buttons present are split across both controllers. The left controller is embedded with the create, triangle, square, L1, L2, and L3 buttons, while the right controller sports the option, circle, cross, R1, R2, and R3 buttons, with both controllers sharing the PlayStation button.
The controllers possess six-axis motion sensing, with IR LEDs tracked by the headset cameras to accurately represent every movement made by your body. The haptic feedback from the controllers gives off intricate, varied levels of vibrations and pulses to replicate the array of sensations that you will experience in the virtual game world, from striking your enemy with a barbaric hammer to running your fingertips through velvety moss.
In terms of the pricing of the PS VR2, not much information is available to go off of other than speculation. We can, for starters, look at the current PlayStation VR starter bundle that retails for $200, which is only a little cheaper than the price of the massively popular Oculus Quest 2, which usually sells for $299. These prices for the PSVR are after several price reductions that the headset went through over the years following its release. So what we can deduce is that the PS VR2 will at least be more expensive than its predecessor’s current prices.
Conversely, the overall price of VR headsets, in general, have gone down, so even the jump in price point from the first-gen headset to the second-gen headset should not be too drastic, with a price of anything between $300 to $400 sounding realistic.
While there is no release date confirmed, recent news from a meeting at Sony suggests that there will be 20 games released along with the PS VR2’s launch. Speculation about the second-gen VR headset’s release date has been going around since the PS VR2 was announced and talks about it taking place in late 2022. Recent leaks, however, suggest otherwise.
A YouTube account, PSVR Without Parole, that has accurately leaked information on the new headset in the recent past has revealed new information that talks about the PS VR2 releasing during the first quarter of 2023. This is reportedly due to the supply issue that the PS5 is still facing, with Sony wanting to make sure that this problem gets resolved before launching the highly-anticipated PS VR2.